By Dean Larson

Photos: Sellers, Craigslist

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Despite some questionable grammar, the old proverb is as true now as ever, summarizing the notion of leaving well enough alone. Whether it’s a nicely worn-in shirt, an old dresser or a Honda Civic with 280,000 on the clock, some things just don’t need updating or upgrading.

And the adage is especially true when looking at the most established powerplant in the kit car hobby, the air-cooled VW platform. Sure, there are all sorts of donor cars out there today, but the unit-designed, air-cooled Volkswagen defines simplicity, which is predominantly why it ain’t broke

The replica and kit car market does not depend on the old VW as much as it once did, but for guardians of the flat-four, there are still plenty of cars, parts and camaraderie to be had. Summer may be drawing to a close, but there’s great fall driving ahead and plenty great air-cooled cars for the picking; take these three classics for example:

Moya Bugatti Recreation

Coming in at just $5,500, this Bugatti recreation offers sophisticated looks on a shoestring budget. The fiberglass bodywork mimics the sensational Type 57 in convertible form, with just a few liberties taken. The seller cites “Daytona MOYA” as the original name associated with the kit, but we were not able to dig up any info on its origins. But we do know that the car is based on a 1974 VW pan and engine, making it likely the 1,600 cc, 57 hp version.

The car presents nicely from the outside, but four matching wheel covers would be a worthwhile investment, along with repairing the convertible top. The interior just needs a good cleaning, but a different steering wheel would go a long way as well. The engine bay is nothing special, but is functional and fitting for a car in this price range.

The strengths of this project in my opinion are a dirt-cheap price tag and smart looks that put it ahead of most comparable VW-based recreations of the era. Check it out here on Minneapolis Craigslist.

Beetle-Based MG-TD

Built by Fiberfab, Classic Motor Carriages and more, the VW-based MG-TD replica is a common sight on the replica car market. But the trick is not paying too much for one, as an original MG-TD project car can be had for as little as $9,000. With TD replicas often asking as much as $15,000, it pays to be choosey. This TD replica on St. Augustine Craigslist pushes the boundary at $8,900, but the car’s condition reflects the premium price.

The seller hasn’t listed a manufacturer, but does explain that the car is based on a 1974 Beetle chassis and dual-port 1,600 cc engine. The low-mileage engine has received regular service, and presents really nicely.

The red finish on the bodywork looks to be in good order, as does the convertible top and upholstery. Volkswagen steel wheels wear MG-badged, wire-style wheel covers, and a convincing array of trim is present.

With fresh brakes, tie rods, tires and new wiring, this TD should be ready to rock, and the seller has a clear Florida title in hand.

Check out the TD here on St. Augustine Craigslist.

Bus-Based Bugatti 35B

Replicas like this VW-based Bugatti are all about achieving nostalgic looks and a fun driving experience on the cheap. And while it falls a little short on physical resemblance to the original 1927 Bugatti 35B, the builder did a nice job aging its presentation.

The 1,600 cc engine was pulled from a VW bus and rebuilt by a local specialist. The frame is said to be VW, while the wheels are Ford Model A sporting new tires from Coker tire. While they look great on this recreation, I’d urge any interested parties to investigate the alignment on the front-passenger wheel, as something looks really amiss.

Otherwise, the car sports a nice Bugatti-shaped grille, Brooklands windscreens and loads of louvers on the body. Vintage controls and lighting on the body add to the visual effect, and the seller claims the car runs and drives excellent.

In terms of presentation, this bus-based Bugatti feels like an antique, and the seller states that the car can be driven anywhere. He’s asking $11,000 for the car, here on Rhode Island Craigslist.